2010 Lorain International Triathlon

This is going to be a long post about a triathlon. If that does not interest you it won’t hurt my feelings. You have my permission to stop reading right now. I fully expect you to read every other word I write though!

Let’s review my triathlon history, shall we?

Summer 2008: Findley Lake – My first sprint triathlon. I got a flat, but loved it anyway.

Summer 2009: Findley Lake – I won my age group! I trained all spring and summer for an international length triathlon, and hurt my foot the week before the race so I couldn’t race.

2010: I started training for an international triathlon in the second week of April. I did very well training up until I fell off of my bike and destroyed my knee, meaning I couldn’t do Findley Lake. With the knee thing, VBS, and the ASM Materials camp, I essentially missed three of the four crucial weeks of training right before the triathlon.

That brings us up to race day last Sunday. I had been watching the weather all week, and sure enough there were big thunderstorms forecast for Saturday night. Thunderstorms make big waves on the lake. On Saturday night the NOAA was forecasting 4-5 ft waves on Lake Erie in the morning. Since race directors don’t like it when people drown, they usually change the swim to a run if water conditions are sub-optimal. As swimming is my (only) strong event, this is VERY BAD for me.

Sure enough, there were sizable waves outside of the breakwater at the beach and they ended up modifying the swim course to be inside the breakwaters. No problem, except that it was too shallow to swim for much of the course, meaning we had to run in the water. Us international competitors had to “swim” the sprint course, get out on the beach and run back up to where we had gotten in, then “swim” it again. It was really hard for me! Swimming would have been much better – although not in those huge waves. Running in water is ridiculously tiring. Anyway, I came out in about the middle of the pack, which is not where I like to be when coming out of the swim.

Transition went well, except that when I went to put my shirt on I had pinned the number through both the front and back, so I had to re-pin it. Live and learn. Also, I realized as I hopped on the bike that I hadn’t tried riding with my new running shoes, and the seat could have been just a smidgen higher.

The ride went really well. I passed one woman in the International race, two women from the sprint waves who were 4 minutes + 1 extra lap of the “swim” ahead of me, then I passed the other woman in my age group as I was about to take the 2nd lap of the bike course. I got passed by 2 men about 5 miles in, then another when I was about 4 miles from the end of the 22.8 mile course. The wind was weird the whole time. It was a roughly square course, and there was definitely a light headwind most of the time. Figure that out. There was one hill that wasn’t too long or too steep, but it was definitely a hill and I definitely had to shift down pretty low. I think I was in granny the 2nd time up it. There were other small rises and falls, but nothing that required anything beyond shifting to the small ring in front.

I was concentrating on riding pretty much as fast as I could without killing myself the whole time. I know that I’m a slow runner and that saving myself on the bike won’t make me run any faster. Average speed: 18.6 mph. That’s fast for me!

At the second transition I drank some water, ate a few M&M’s, and grabbed a handful Chex mix to take with em. I probably should have eaten the Chex mix first instead of the M&M’s, because it’s hard to come up with enough saliva to get Chex mix down while running without inhaling all of it. It sure tasted good to me though!

The run course was 2X on the out and back 5k course. I wasn’t a huge fan because that’s 4X through the same scenery, but it was kind of fun to see everybody 4 times. The last mile and a half was really hard – I think I ran out of calories to burn. Guess I should have taken some M&M’s along on the run course to eat halfway through. Run pace: 9:41.

My overall time ended up being 2:33, and since one of the two other women in my age group one got second overall, I won my age group. Yay!

I’m so glad and proud of myself for finally finishing after training for two seasons. Especially since the month before this race my training was sort of non-existant. Imagine what I could do if I had actually trained properly!

I’m not sure if I’ll do this distance again next summer. It’s hard for me to train in the summer because I get so busy, and there aren’t any longer triathlons like this significantly earlier in the year around here. I definitely want to keep doing sprints though!

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